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King Of The Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography (2004)

King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography (2004)

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3.97 of 5 Votes: 4
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0060502517 (ISBN13: 9780060502515)
greenwillow books

About book King Of The Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography (2004)

♥ i love chris crutcher ♥if oddballs was augusten burroughs for the younger generation, chris crutcher is their david sedaris. both books are humorous essays involving childhood and family and all the tales of things that happen to shape a boy into a man, but crutcher just has better stories. and a more genial approach to telling them. part of this is due to a complete lack of vanity on his part; a trait those sedaris kids have in spades. seemingly unconcerned about how he appears to others, crutcher is able to gleefully recount his mishaps, foibles, pettiness, and shortcomings both physical and personality-wise. but you end up loving him because of this boldness. he is charming, he is real, he is relatable. he was a little kid with a terrible temper who wanted to impress girls and be good at something, anything, but kept fucking up*. his horribly transparent lies made me cringe in sympathy and remembrance. this is the stuff that makes paul feig and sara barron such satisfying humor writers, while sloane crossley, with her "does this story make me look fat?" hesitancy, is less enjoyable.there is a genuine good-naturedness rolling off of these stories, and i can see this as an excellent match for kids who don't fit in and aren't good at sports to show you can still be successful despite uneven beginnings. because he is a normal kid, full of an eagerness to please, and loyalty and sweet gullibility, but also admits to stealing money from his mother's purse, masturbating all the time, cheating in school, and eating a lot of candy. he does not glamorize himself or make himself appear to be cool or athletic or smooth, or even intelligent. in fact, his father nicknames him "lever - nature's simplest tool." and you feel bad for this kid, but you know as an adult, he bears no grudges, and he became a really funny guy, so it's perfectly okay to laugh at him as a hapless teen.i really liked whale talk, and a lot of the stories he tells in here later came into play in his novels. i am definitely going to read more of his books in the future, because he is a really gifted storyteller, but i think i would enjoy reading another collection of essays like this even more. in his "other" job, he works as a family therapist dealing primarily with severely abused children and he uses what he sees in his work to reach kids who may be in similar situations through his fiction-work, so his fiction (she judges based on the one novel she has read) ends up being both funny and moving. i was only a little disappointed because the blurb on the from promised "a good reason to be phobic about oysters and olives," both of which i hate, but it is a very chris crutcher-specific reason, and not one i can use to inculcate the masses. * i know that some people have a problem with "cursewords used in reviews of teen fiction titles because we have to protect teh children or whatever, but my belief is, if the author is going to use the words in the book, i am allowed to use them in the review. and i have a long way to go to catch up. one of the funnier passages from this book recounts his experience publishing his first novel, when it was recommended he tone down the language (which he did for the first novel, but then never did again):"in its original form running loose was a three-hundred-page epic. i removed two words and it became a two-hundred-page coming-of-age novel. during that editing time, when one of my mother's friends asked her how i was doing, my mom told her she hadn't heard from me for two weeks, that she thought i was holed up at my typewriter unfucking my book"

In February, I heard Chris Crutcher speak at the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) and he talked about his life. I laughed so hard I nearly cried, so I immediately added his memoir to my to read list. It did not disappoint.Chris tells about his life growing up in the small town of Cascade, Idaho, and how his childhood influenced his career in writing. He talks about his brother, who could make anything sound "neat", which usually led Chris to get into trouble. He also talked about questions of religion and his temper, both of which often got him into trouble. He was also a "bawlbaby," which also led him to get into trouble. (See a trend here?) My favorite three stories focused on his brother: the time his brother convinced him to urinate in the heating grate and then close all the windows in the house to mask the smell form the neighbords, the time his brother convinced him it would be "neat" for Chris to run along the ditch and let him take shots at him with a BB gun, and the time his brother told him about Esus, Jesus's older brother who had all the ideas but nobody knew about.Crutcher clearly shows how all of these events contribute to his writing in some way, giving insight into where a writer gets their ideas for fiction. He has a funny, self-deprecating tone that is sure to grab the attention of even the most reluctant reader. I was a bit unclear on the intended audience, however. The book was shelved in the adult memoirs at my library, but it seemed out of place based on its slim volume and larger than normal font. I would recommend this to any high school student, and more mature middle school readers, since it does contain a lot of language (which is par for the course with Crutcher). All in all, a delightfully finny read that made me laugh out loud.

Do You like book King Of The Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography (2004)?

Chris Crutcher wrote an autobiography of mostly his elementary through college years. It's not a from beginning to end story. Each chapter is a stand-alone reminesence of a certain incident or a certain time. Sometimes the story is sad, others it's funny. He writes young adult novels for the most part and has, as he proudly points out, been on the banned list from the ALA annual banned list on several occasions for either objectional language or supposedly inappropriate topics. You have to remember that to get on that list doesn't mean that it is a bad book; it means simply that someone somewhere filed an objection to the book. I have read several of his novels and enjoyed them and so do young people.

I've never read any of Chris Crutcher's fiction books, but after reading his autobiography, I definitely want to! He writes with an honest, funny tone and seems to have a lot of wisdom. In comparing him to David Sedaris, another humorous author who writes many short stories about his childhood, I'd have to say I like Chris Crutcher better! David Sedaris is great, but also very snarky and cynical. Chris Crutcher seems like an all around more friendly guy. His stories are HILARIOUS. The one about his initiation into C Club had me CRYING with laughter.To be honest, I was surprised to learn that he's 60-something. He writes in such a way that really connected with me as a teenager, and it seemed so natural (a lot of YA authors seem to really force the young tone) Also, this autobiography better be 100% dang true. I REALLY HOPE IT IS, because it was incredibly funny.I'll definitely be looking for more Chris Crutcher books on my next trip to the library!
—Margaret Sophia

This is a fun and funny book. The self-deprecating nature of the humor and the author's view of his own life is good comedy. Also, within the text the author will interrupt other speeches with the infusion of his own wit, there are some excellent jokes crafted with this method. The recurring line "which wasn't invented yet" allows the author to joke about his age. There are some interesting lessons for young writers. The author didn't start writing until he was 35. His first encounter with succe

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